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How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Posted by lifetogether (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 1, 09 at 9:36

I met my boyfriend almost 18 months ago and we started living together after only a few months. He has a 10 year old daughter who used to visit every weekend (1 night), but because of his a change in his career she now stays over only once a month, but he see's her for a few hours on other weekends.

He is very touchy on the subject of my relationship with her and he expects that I love her as much as he does. I have tried to expalin that although i think she is lovely, I will never feel the same way about her as he does and this he truely cannot understand. He includes her in everything even our recent discussions about buying a house together, he thinks she should get a say in the house we buy - whereas my opinion is that we are the ones to decide and she fits is with us. I'm not sure if I have it all wrong and that's why I am writng here.

My boyfriend and I are both 40 and I have a professional career and hope to have a baby with him soon (we had a miscarriage last month) and I have not had children before. I do not see myself as his daughters step-mom - I'm not sure if this is simply because we are not married.

I guess my problem is that my boyfriend and I see things differently in relation to his daughter. From the very beginning he took me to his daugters "exchange" where unbeknown to me I was to meet his ex. I soon began to loath the exchange - having to smile and say hi to his ex twice every weekend. I felt I did not need to be there, and was happy for him to go and pick up his daughter and bring her home and this is when I consdered out weekend with her to begin. BUT he thinks that me not going is not supporting him - and it is a big issue. To me is is only trying to show something to his ex - and I dont want to be invloved in their games (she has remarried).

All our fights revolve around his daugther and I feel that he expects too much from me. Because he has to work most saturday nights (and most other nights, which means I hardly get to see him any more) in order to spend more time with his daughter he now expects me to baby sit her from 4pm till bedtime, while he works till 3pm. All so he can get up in the morning and she is here. I have told him that she should be looked after by the mother if he is unable to take care of her and he can pick her up in the morning. Why should I, the girlfriend, have to give up my saturday night to babysit while the mother has the night off? Is it wrong to think like this and should I adopt a more communial spirit? I know that my boyfriend spends less time with her now compatred to before, but he knew this would happen when he chose his new job (it was in motion even before I met him). Why is it suddenly my responsibility to step in and give up my time just so he can have more time with her? I told him I did not want to baby sit - I work long hours and my time off should be my own if I am not with him or with him and her, but he tells me that I have not accepted him as a man with a daughter and that I do not crave or desire to be with her. The truth is I do not crave to be with her, but I am happy to be with her and him on the days that he see's her. I think he is a wonderful father and I know he will be just as wonderful to our own kids. But is he abusing my love for him (and yes, he is selfish)? I am just a little unsure about what my responsabilities are and what is reasonably expected of me when it comes to his child?

Hope you can help,

Julie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Read your own post;
the answer is there in every sentence.

Yes, he's abusing your love for him, yes, he's selfish, yes, he's using you, flaunting you in front of his ex, browbeating/guilting you into free babysitting.

The original question was "how much responsibility..."

The answer is *none*.

This guy is using you using you using you.
& he's not doing right by his daughter, & he's still angry at his ex, & vindictive (sure you wanna risk putting your child into the position his daughter is in right now?), or he wouldn't be trying to throw you into her face.

You need to sober up from "love-intoxication" (get absolutely *away* from him for at least a month-no physical meetings, no phone calls, no emails, don't take delivery of flowers if he sends them, etc-it has to be absolute cold turkey) & think dispassionately about his character & his lack of character before you decide to tie yourself to him for the rest of your life...
like his ex.

I wish you the best.

ps: We all get baby fever, but it does pass whether you succumb to it or not;
If you're determined to have a baby biologically, there are tons of men out there, but if you're wanting motherhood whether bio or not, please consider adoopting;
just like there are tons of men, there are tons of children out there.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I have a different point of view. Your BF shows he is a caring dad, very involved with in his daughters life. I look at this as a good thing. He obviously wants to share a life with someone that will love his daughter. Some people can love a step child like their own, some can't. It is okay if one can't and recognizes this early on. I guess you have to decide if you ever could love her as much as one of your own. If you couldn't accept her as an equal in your family perhaps you should move on.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I have yet another view that lies somewhere in between Sylvia's and eandhl's.

I think your BF is a loving dad and that's great.

I don't agree with Sylvia's opinion that he is blatantly using you and taking advantage. I think he loves his daughter very much and expects you to do the same, but that is a bit unreasonable, given her age, the circumstances, etc.

His DD is 10 years old and does not spend much time with her father; therefore, she doesn't spend much time with you. It is unreasonable of her father to expect you to just automatically love and cherish her the way he or her mother does. There is nothing wrong with you not loving her like a bio child. She is not your bio child, and you have known her for all of 18 months. Her dad has had 10 YEARS to bond with and love her.

I think it's unfair of your BF to expect you to love her like your own. Love is not an emotion that you can just create like that. It may happen over time for you, or it may not. And, really, IMO, either is okay. What your BF is reasonable to expect, however, is that you treat his daughter kindly and fairly, and that you demonstrate to him, and to her that you CARE about her.

And I 100% got the impression from your post that you DO care about her, that you respect her relationship with her dad, and that you are willing to be supportive to HIM in all of that.

No, at this stage in the game, I don't think you should be responsible for watching her on those nights. I certainly think you could if you want to--but it's not fair of your BF to "expect" you to do so. You are not married and this is not "your" custody time with his DD.

Now, down the road, if you marry, have another child, etc. this is where things get sticky. If you are home on a Friday evening with your small child, and it's his night to have his DD, but he has to work, it may be reasonable for him to expect you to have her with you, along with your child. These are things you do need to consider and determine what you are comfortable with. And then you and your BF need to discuss these things, maybe even in a neutral setting, like with a counselor.

What works for some doesn't work for others. Only the two of you together can decide how your particular family unit will work.

But mark my words, you and your BF both need to be okay with how things are agreed upon, or one or the other of you will wind up feeling angry and resentful.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Even before I began posting on this forum, I read for a long time and always looked forward to responses from sylviatexas. But I don't know where this one came from. LOL

I think both you and BF are making a big mistake being together, planning to buy a house together, planning a family together, etc. You're so incompatible that I don't know why you both don't see it at this stage when you could examine your relationship and values to make determinations before making all those big mistakes you're so deperately trying to put into motion. I do agree with sylvia's suggestion that you get away for a while to evaluate things.

To answer your question: No, I don't think he is asking too much. If it really is a matter of a flaunting game because his ex is remarried, then that's just childish. However, the rest is not unreasonable. I actually don't think he really means you should love her the same as he does but only that you love her as your own. You would love an adopted child as your own, so why not your stepchild if she hasn't given you any trouble or reason not to love her as your own. (For explanation of that possibility, read the horror stories on this forum and consider yourself blessed.) Why isn't loving your stepdaughter a given for you instead of something that has to be over analyzed and argued over? I also think he means simply that you love her being that she is his daughter and a part of him, and therefore a part of you. You have chosen to be with him. What you don't seem to understand is he is a package deal. You don't get to always determine what you will and won't do - this but not that - the two of them when we all are together but not me and her alone. That is just silly, and I think you come up with some crazy objections, thus the reason that all your "fights revolve around his daugther."

He shouldn't have to ask these things of you and certainly not to the point of almost forcing you (the arguments). He shouldn't even want to, and that alone should be a determining factor for him when choosing a girlfriend, stepmother to his daughter, mother of his future children, future wife, whatever. He has in his mind what he expects of his daughter's stepmother (yes, that is your role as long as you live with him), and he's trying to mold you, force you to fit that profile. He shouldn't have to mold you and shouldn't want to force you.

Are you really talking about 1 Saturday night a month? Is there something I missed or neglected in your story? I don't want to go back and read the whole thing again, so please correct me if I misunderstood you to complain about babysitting your boyfriend's daughter.......for 1 night a month.

He is trying to so hard - to the point of forcing a square peg into a round hole - to create some semblance of family life that includes his daughter, while you fight him every step of the way simply because she is not yours. Yes, it is unreasonable to expect his daughter would have a say in the house you purchase together, but nothing else you have explained is too much to ask. That part I think is just more of him trying so hard to create a family with you and his daughter. My son helps with similar decisions but only to let me know if he likes a place or which room he wanted. I would not have turned down a house I really liked, thought would be perfectly functional, was the house of my dreams, was in my price range simply because he didn't like it. Your final decision should not be subject to her approval. That is too much to leave up to a 10 year old child, as she is too limited and unequipped to make such a decision. Is that what he really expects, or is he simply hoping the house that the two of you like the most will be one she also likes?

At any rate, I think you both should make some hard decisions. You already acknowledge he is selfish, which will get on your nerves (or worse) for your entire relationship. You already know you are not committed enough to him to accept him as a package deal and your role that should complete the package/family scenario (since you are doing everything else except marriage that defines a family). He already knows you do not accept your role and have no instincts concerning that role, yet he is determined to force you kicking and screaming into it. I don't know where you two think this is heading. I only see you're both individually and separately determined to create what you think you want - you want your own family, and he wants his entire family.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Wow, so much going on here.

1. FDH doesnt see his D much -- so he asks (maybe expects?) you to help maximize that time. I would be hurting so bad if I could only see my D (at that age) limited times, yes I would expect my family to help me maxmize that time. My sister would do it in a heartbeat.

2. Once you have a child, you wont be going out at much on Saturday nights. Trust me.

3. I would never expect anyone to love my D as much as I do. I would expect someone I love to help me max my time with her (especially the minimal time he has), and to be kind.

4. Keep in mind -- custody arrangments change. For all types of reason. Dont ever marry someone if you are not prepared for their kids to move in with you.

5. I don't know what you mean by child having "say" in new house. I let my D look at houses with me. H**l, my X even came with us. As long as everyone was reasonable, I listend to everyone. Kindof like when they pick juries, each lawyer can knock out 3 with no reason, and unlimited with good reason. End of the day, we picked my favorite house (it won hands down on economic issues), one my D thought was OK.

peace


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"only trying to show something to his ex - and I dont want to be invloved in their games (she has remarried)."

"he knew this would happen when he chose his new job (it was in motion even before I met him"

"I told him I did not want to baby sit - I work long hours"

"he tells me that I have not accepted him as a man with a daughter and that I do not crave or desire to be with her"

& he didn't check with OP before he took the new job & assigned her the task of babysitting, he accuses her of now "craving to be with" a 10-year-old that she sees every now & then...

& if he's such a "great dad", why did he take the job?
He took it because he assumed that OP would take up his slack.

Run, OP, run.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Sylvia, a few things.

1. OP said "To me is is only trying to show something to his ex - and I dont want to be invloved in their games (she has remarried)." You cut off the to me -- I see a dad who wants to maximize time with his D, not necessarily playing games.

2. I always ask people -- ask yourselves what each of your brings/takes from marriage. If OP is wanting to have a child, is she wanting to stay home for a while.

3. Lots of people work long hours. The question to me -- does everyone in family pull their weight. Which can include going to school, etc.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"You would love an adopted child as your own, so why not your stepchild if she hasn't given you any trouble or reason not to love her as your own"

I do not like this analogy.

I understand the reasoning behind it, but an adopted child and a stepchild are not the same thing.

When you adopt a child, you become that child's parent. Often times, when a baby/child is adopted, there has been a long road for the parent to get him/her. It's been a road filled with perhaps infertility, desire to have a child, desire to become a mother/father, and a deep yearning inside for "your child." When that adoption finally happens, it's much like a baby that was carried inside you for 9 months---9 months of planning, excitement and longing.

When a person adopts a child, he/she becomes THE parent. And with becoming a parent comes unconditional love (at least for awhile!) from the child---and a parent gives it right back. There is that indescribable bond between parent and child that just IS. Any mother or father can testify to this. I personally don't think it has anything to do with biology because I absolutely think an adoptive parent loves their child JUST as much as they would a bio child. When you become a parent---however that happens---that bond just seems to click instantly and grows from there.

NOW---when you marry someone with a child, you become a stepparent. And being a stepparent means that someone ELSE is the mother or father.

I am my SS's stepmom. I care about him A LOT because he is my DH's son, he is an integral part of our family. BUT I am not his mom and I don't have *that* bond with him. I didn't carry him for nine months. I didn't stay up at night with him when he was teething or sick. I don't receive Mother's Day present from him. I don't take him to the doctor, save for the rare occasion. I don't reminisce about his birth on his birthday. He doesn't call me mom or love me unconditionally, the way he does his mother. And I don't expect him to. He does not love me as *his* mother, and I don't love him as *my* child. We have a different manner of relationship from parent/child. It's closer than aunt/nephew, but it's certainly not a mother/son relationship. And that's okay.

It is not the same thing as adopting a child because I do not have the privilige of being his mother


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I rarely post yet read her often.
You choose your attitude. And your attitude will color every aspect in relation to that child.
Choose to be with him and your attitude had better be spot on 100% in order to have a fulfilling and rewarding life. That goes with any relationship, but particularly in a step parenting role.

My background?
A 19 yr.old woman (child really) marries a man with 3 children, all under the age of 7. That woman works full time excepting for the 6 measly weeks taken off in order to birth her own bio child. Life is a story book tale with husband and new baby until...

Two yrs. into the marriage all HE-double L breaks loose, bio mom can't seem to care for other 3 children, needs a few weeks to get it together. Only thing is, she never returns. So, SM has two choices doesn't she? A. Resent the hell out of her plight or B. Adopt an attitude of grace.

And do you think she could quit work to tend to the children and household? No. Bio mom re-marries, moves out of state and doesn't contribute monetarily or otherwise.

Okay, this is where I think the story differs from the "norm". The kids give SM grief, they aren't angels. Father works out of town occasionally, so really who's to tend the kids? SM of course :) How is she to be successful? She has the father's support. The father's FULL support. The children are never to back talk, roll eyes, smack lips, slam doors or in any way disrespect SM. EVER. And how does SM garner respect? On many occasions when she could have gotten one or the other of the children into hot water with father...she chose not to "tattle". The children in short order learned that SM was not "out to get" them, and that indeed maybe she did care about their feelings and that she possibly even loved them.

The children started calling her Mom. (occasionally reverting back to given name when irritated :) but that even didn't last long). SM treated step kids with dignity and kindness for many moons. Never was her bio child put before nor treated specially than the other 3. All for one and one for all. Everyone had chores that rotated. If father's expectations were sometimes harsh...SM steps up to the plate. Who runs kids hither and yon? SM. Who is child's biggest advocate? SM. Who comes home after hard day at work to feed family of six? SM. Who goes without so children needs are met? SM.

Who is this woman?
A savior and keeper of spirits?
The woman to take three little ones under her wing, to guide and love them as if we were from her?
My Mom.
Someone I have a hard time even referring to as stepmom as we were hers until the day she died.
We still are.

You choose your attitude :)
The attitude of gratitude goes far :)


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"Who is this woman?
A savior and keeper of spirits?
The woman to take three little ones under her wing, to guide and love them as if we were from her?
My Mom.
Someone I have a hard time even referring to as stepmom as we were hers until the day she died.
We still are."

Deborah, this is a beautiful and moving story. And I applaud your "stepmother" who did what she did and became a mother to you in every aspect.

BUT I think your story kind of underscores what I was trying to say. The most usual way for a step-parent to become a parent is when the bio-parent leaves the picture.

It is very, very hard to be a *true parent* to a stepchild when their bio-parent is very much IN the picture. You are always having to stay a step back so as not to step on the bio-parent's toes, to make sure your stepchild knows you respect their bio-parent, etc. It is a balancing act and it is very difficult.

My husband is a parent to my DD through and through. And he is her stepfather technically speaking. But her BIO DAD is non-existant. She calls my DH "daddy." She doesn't know anyone else in that father role. So it was very smooth and very natural for my husband to ease into that role....

I am NOT saying that stepparents don't or can't love their stepkids as their own. It can and does happen. But I don't think, especially in this case, that the OP's *attitude* can change how she feels. She is not saying anything negative or detrimental about this child, merely that she doesn't have that parental love for her. This is pretty normal IMO. She has known this girl for only 18 months and sees her once a week. There is a big difference between THAT and what your stepmom did. Your stepmom was thrust into the role of full-time mother and thank God she handled it gracefully and beautifully.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I am NOT saying that stepparents don't or can't love their stepkids as their own.

That's it in a nutshell. I understand what you're saying about step parent and adoption. I just wish if my whole point I was making had to be disputed that it would be disputed in context to the point or at least the subject of the thread. I don't know what it matters if you disagree with my analogy if your exception to it has nothing to do with the purpose the analogy served and also doesn't disprove relevance to the subject matter. The OP might feel the same as you, but I hope she got my point.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

For the sake of brevity, my story did not include that my birth mother did return months after she'd dropped us off. So, I shouldn't have said "never to return". In ways it might have been better if she hadn't. As much as I love her, she has some pretty major issues and had no problem inflicting them onto all of us through out the years. Calling my SM "Mom" was a major infraction, finding fault of my SM even though and probably because SM was parenting us better than she could or would herself, just to name a couple.

I'm still of the mind that *attitude* colors a persons feelings....change the attitude, feelings change.

I get that the OP is feeling like her FDH seems to be forcing his daughter onto her. This might be what is truly behind her feeling less than close to the child...maybe if he'd relax, let them come together naturally, it will?

With all of the choices we have in this day and age, I'd no more marry into this situation without getting counseling than I'd jump off of the Empire State Building without a parachute!


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I don't see how I took anything out of context, Thermometer.

You said:

"You would love an adopted child as your own, so why not your stepchild if she hasn't given you any trouble or reason not to love her as your own"

IMO, when OP has already come to us expressing frustration with her BF *expecting* or *demanding* that she love his DD as her own child right off the bat, the last thing we should do is heap more pressure on her.

Your statement, at least the way I interpreted it, sounded like you think it's completely reasonable for her BF to expect her to feel that way. OP has already told us she doesn't feel that way---so when you say "well, why not?" it sounds like you are being critical.

I think my argument against your analogy IS relevant because you are insinuating that the OP *should* love and feel the way about her BF's daughter that he expects. You told her she would love an adopted child as her own, so therefore she should love a stepchild as her own. It's just not the same thing. THAT is the point I am making.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I told you I get your point but still think it's out of context. You explained some of the circumstances and emotions that normally go along with adopting a child (though there are numerous other reasons people adopt). Okay, but I think there are some surrounding becoming a stepparent too. Granted, they are not the same and don't come from the same place in one's heart and mind, but they do exist. The single major difference is a person doesn't birth an adopted child just like they don't birth a stepchild. The point of my analogy was to point out she has no instincts where his child is concerned simply because the child is not hers. The request of babysitting one night a month is hardly an imposition. It's just something she objects to. She'd probably do it for a sibling or friend with no objection at all (Is that a better analogy for you? It's still the same thing). If a guy I dated objected to giving up 12 evenings a year of his life to grant me a simple request, I'd kick him to the curb. She should be happy and willing simply because he asked. It isn't anything that belittles her, so what's the problem? The problem is she does not consider his child a part of her family, which she instinctively should because the child is a part of him.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child? f

I meant to address your "right off the bat" comment to remind you it's been 18 months.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Thank you all for your comments. To be honest I am shaking and upset after reading the comments from those of you who suggest I should run for the hills. And maybe that's becuase these are the posts that ring truest to me. But the reality is I don't want to leave.

And yes, I agree with those of you who suggest that it's all in your "attitude", and I have tried to play the stepmom role. In the beginning I felt very left out on the weekends. His daughter would come over and I was literally ignored - not on purpose, but all his attention went to her. I decided to play a proactive role, to involve myself - to speak up in their conversations, not to just sit back and watch and wait for them to include me. It worked and I felt included. I organised family outings with my brothers family and his three kids who were similar age ( I love my neice and nephews dearly and my step sister is my best fried -it was a great way for me to spend time with them and my BF and his daughter - before I met my BF i saw my neice and nephwes every weekend and we are very close).

But then things all started going wrong - my BF wanted me to play the stepmom, but did not like me making decisions for his daugter - something I had trouble distinguishing between. On one accassion I had arranged to go to the zoo with my brothers family and we were going to have a picnic. I bought nice stuff for the picnic and planned to make nice sandwhiches, ham and salad, but when asked SD wanted tomato too. As I was making the sandwhiches the night before I said no tomato as it goes soggy because I knew that when it came to the time when she was to eat her sandwhich she would complain it was too soggy. She is a good kid and it would not have been an ordeal, but I just wanted her to eat it and be part of the picnic that i made. I don't know why it was so important to me. So I said no tomato - my BF said to give her anything she wanted, "if she wants tomato then give it to her" I stuck to my guns thinking that I knew better (and actually feeling like a mom who was making a good decision in regard to the child). The next morning we were running late to the zoo and didi not have time for breakfast. BF ate a bananna and I suggeted SD do the same (she usually has fruit for breakfast - strawberries, banana, apple, but that day we only had banana)- i ate nothing. SD complained and asked if we could stop on the way to get something for breakfast - I said no, that if she ate a banana that it would be enough, we were to have the picnic as soon as we got to the zoo - a mere 1.5 hours away. But BF stoped at a bakery, I complained and ended up asking him not to buy much so as not to spoil my picnic. He came out of the shop (i waited in the car) after buying her her a sausage roll and donut for breakfast. I was so angry. Not only did he undermine me in front of her he had no repsect for the time and effort I had put into making our picnic. At luch, she took one bite of the sandwhich and said she was not hungry.And I know you will all say "its just a sandwchih" but it was somethign more to me. I don't know why and I don't know why I cared so much.

Later I was told by BF that I was not to make decisions about what food she ate or any other decisions regarding her- he would make those decisions. I was hurt. I had tried to play stepmom and to be honest taking and reigns and planning a day out and being in charge of what we were doing felt good - like I was part of the team - like I was a mom.

After this incident I decied to take a step back. I was not stepmom. I was not allowed to be, but at the same time I was expected to love SD and to want to spend time with her. To be honest I did love her in the beginning and I do still care for her, but the motherly instincts that were growing in me were abruptly snuffed out by BF's comments and actions. And from then on I consiously decided to emotionally step back from her - maybe this was wrong.

So now I feel that I should not be "expected" to babysit. At the moment SD stays over once a month when BF has both saturday and sunday free. For the other 3 weekends a week he works saturday night - which means that potentially I could be baby sitting 3 weends a month. So it's not that I dispute the one weekend a month as some of you have suggested - I'm afraid it will turn into a lot more.

I have thought about how to go about the babysitting deal. It's not that I dont want to, it's that I think I shouldn't have to. He only wants me to play step mom when it suits him. I also have objections regarding the BM. She has written emails saying that SD is not permitted in my car - I have a 2 seat sports car and she thinks its not safe enough for her daugter (I am not a hoon, I am a doctor for gods sake) and if my BF is not there SD is not allowed to spend time with me alone. So why shoudl I baby sit and she gets the night off when she doesn't even want me around her child?

In the early days when BF could not pick up his daughter (becuase he was out hunting for the weekend) I would pick her up and entertain her for the day till BF retured, but BM told him I was not allowed to pick her up in my car (I think her objection's were focused more on me rather than the car).

I know that BM is jealous of my relationship with her daughter - I used to spend time with SD and clean up her room with her etc and these stories got back to her. One day we dropped SD off after a small hair cut - her hair is down to her butt and we all went (BF inclluded) to the hairdreser get her a trim. She got about 2 inches cut off - but BM went crazy and cried hysterically and ended up telling me that she was not jealous of my relationship with her daughter (i concluded she was - why bring it up if she was not?). This was another of the reasons that I decided to stop going to the "exchange" and that stepping back was my best (and admitadly, easiest option).

Anyway, I guess this is a real mess. In addition to all this last week we found out that BM is taking SD interstate at the end of the year to live. BF is devistated, but has a strange attitute - we talked to SD yeaterday and she wants to go, so BF is annoyed with her and told her that if she leaves then don't bother coming back to see him (an angry reaction)- i had to step in and say that he did not mean it and that her dad loves her no matter what happens, he said nothing.

The truth is I want this to work - I thought that maybe I could ask my neice if she wanted a sleepover next wekend when I am supposed to baby sit - the two girls would love it and I would not have to "entertain" my SD as they could play together- but what about the weekend after that and the one after that?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

You're involved with a control freak. He wants everything HIS way and in HIS time.

But you're an adult woman. You're allowed to say 'no' and mean it. You don't have to. He's made it abundantly clear anyway that you have no authority and you make no decisions regarding the girl. Why put yourself in a position of powerlessness? It's too bad that you and the girl cannot define your own relationship since he has to dictate the terms of it.

I do think that if you intend to stay in this relationship that BOTH of you need to go to counseling--and possibly all three of you. That kind of dictatorial, bullying stance needs to be dealt with because it will just continue to make you miserable.

But were it me I'd cut bait.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I agree with Vivian. You are in a lose-lose-win situation. Lose for you and the little girl who will never have a proper relationship, and win for your BF. What do you think things will be like in a few years when she is an adolescent and you have no authority? Adolescent girls are NOT easy in any way.

I'll also add that I totally agree with her mom's insistence that she not ride in your two seater car. Being a good driver has nothing to do with it. It is very dangerous for a child to ride in the front seat. In an accident, the fatality rate for children riding in the front seat is quite high. I did not let my SD ride in the front seat of my car until she was 13, the recommended age by the NHTSA and AAP.
(And yes, she pitched a fit several times having to sit back there, but too bad!)


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I'm sorry, I can't help but feel you made entirely too much out of your "picnic" issue. For instance, the tomato sandwich. If you hadn't been so focussed on your choice, you could have thought of ways to accommodate a tomato sandwich, instead of reasons why you shouldn't make one (ie, wrap buttered bread and tomatoes separately from each other, put together just before eating; drain sliced tomatoes on paper towel before constructing sandwich, etc). And, if the sandwich DID turn out soggy and SD complained, you'd be on much higher moral ground saying, "Well, I did warn you that a tomato sandwich would get soggy but it was your choice."
Then you got bent out of shape over breakfast "spoiling" your nice picnic (how long did you spend making those sandwiches?). Frankly if I had left home on just a banana, we had an hour and a half before arriving and who knows how long until lunch, I'd want a snack on the way too. I'd bet SD wasn't hungry for her sandwich because she didn't want a nice ham and salad sandwich, she wanted a tomato sandwich. It seems to me more that you were upset because SD didn't want the choices you made for her and that your BF didn't compel his daughter to go along with your wishes.
It doesn't sound like you like your SD very much- you say you do, but to resent giving up even every Saturday night to babysitting her- and how much does that involve? you're not changing nappies or anything, if you wanted you could watch TV or surf the net or whatever the entire time- to facilitate your BF spending maximum time with her seems unfriendly, to say the least. You could, since you were planning on spending the rest of your life with your BF and he clearly is very attached to her, treat this time as an opportunity for some special bonding.
I can assure you, if you had your own baby it wouldn't be just Saturday nights that you lost your free time, and it would be a lot more onerous than looking after a 10 year old.
I agree that your BF is unreasonable to expect that you love his daughter as much as he does, and to expect that a 10 year old gets input on your choice of house (an opinion, yes, veto powers, no). But if I had a child and a potential partner had your attitude towards that child, that would be a huge red flag for me.
Finally, if you think "being a Mom" means being able to make unilateral decisions on what a child will eat or anything else, perhaps you need to think through that issue before actually beoming a mother.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"we had an hour and a half before arriving and who knows how long until lunch, I'd want a snack on the way too"

Colleen, OP did say that they planned on eating lunch upon arriving at the zoo.

BUT that said, I think you ARE best to stay out of issues regarding your BF's DD, OP. It is a lose-lose situation with you. I think some of it may come with just not having much experience with children, but some of the things you are saying BF disagrees with don't surprise me. As a parent, I would never give my DD or SS (who are both 7) a banana for breakfast and expect them to wait until lunch for more food. That is just not enough food/nutrition for a growing child. I know my kids would complain if a banana was all that was offered for breakfast. And I can see how your BF felt it necessary to stop and get her more to eat---I would have done the same thing.

NOW--I agree---he shouldn't have undermined you, BUT IMO he should not have been put in the position of having to undermine you. If I were you, I would totally bow out of decisions, however small they may seem, regarding his DD. This is for your own peace of mind and sanity, and for the sake of your relationship.

I also agree with the two-seater car issue. The only way to make that safe(er) for a child is to turn off the air bag, which many cars offer as an option--but then the BIG problem is she is sitting in the front seat with no air bag. An air bag is too dangerous for a child under 12, but sitting in the front with no air bag is just as dangerous. I would not let my child ride in a car like that.

I do understand the importance of the picnic to you, and thay you wanted it to be fun, you wanted SD to like it, etc. But your feelings were hurt, and I understand that, too. The way you protect yourself from that happening is to let your BF parent his DD. Don't make decisions about what she will/won't eat, especially at this stage in the game, where you're not married, you don't spend much time with her, etc.

I think your BF also needs to back off and let your relationship with his DD unfold naturally.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I was spot on about your lack of instincts where his daughter is concerned, but I appreciate more information because now I know it stems from him and not that you are just devoid and selfish. Now, however, I have to wonder why it stems from him. Is he extremely controlling and narcissistic, or is he responding to you? I have to tell you, if there were other incidents as all the circumstances you created surrounding the morning of the picnic, then I can see why he has taken the stance that he has. Sorry to attack you but that was just dodo when you could simply have been accommodating rather than insisting on having things your way. No, he was not going to allow you to make his daughter eat a banana if that isn't what she wanted for breakfast. No, he was not going to allow you to make his daughter go hungry for an hour and a half just so she'd be famished for a sandwich she didn't like, didn't want, and wasn't going to eat anyway because you refused to make it the way she likes. Attack over. I just wanted you to see how irrational it all was. I'm actually on your side now because I know you are confused, even if his actions that cause your confusion are in response to your actions. I think you're just not accustomed to being around children (certainly not accustomed to being a mom/stepmom), so it's kind of understandable. He could be more understanding and perhaps explain things to you, rather than making rash decisions that dismiss you in one instance and force you in others.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

one day a month is extremelly limited contact, it is 12-days a year. under these circumstances you will never have any relationship with this child, let alone love her like your own? even wiht busy hours and geographical distance i would expect people to see their children more than once a month. i see my niece and nephew more than that.

about babysitting...you should not be babysitting anyone on a regular basis but once a month? why not? what's the big deal?

Now on a subject of food. You could pack your tomato slices in a ziploc bag and put on a sandwiches right before eating, not a big deal.

as about banana. if a child only ate a banan and later said she is hungry it is rather mean to say "no". she is hungry, what's the big deal, feed her, get her snack, children often think they won't get hungry but they do. i think you are too harsh on this child. he did what parents do, his child was hungry so he bought her food, you insisted that she needs to stay hungry so you get it your way. it is a child we are talking about, who needs these power games.

i don't think you are ready to be a stepmother even if you two get married, if you are that concerned over little things one day a month, what's going to happen if she moves in wiht you? (what if somehting happens to mom?).


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

lifetogether,

I read the OP and your follow up and only skimmed most of the replies but I wanted to give my impressions without too much influence from the other opinions you've gotten.

At first, it seems like he is still hung up on his ex... not that he wants her back, but overly concerned with what she thinks or how she sees him. He seems to want to prove something to her by having you there and it was completely using you to thrust you into the situation with no warning. It is not a big deal to bring a new SO along.. but there is a proper way to proceed that shows respect for both you and the mother of his child. If he does not care to show respect to her, he should at least show it for you... especially if you are hoping to spend your life with him. I see a total disregard for your feelings in his actions.

Then you talk about wanting your time to yourself and that's reasonable, however you are hoping to have a child and presumably be a family with him... yet complain about losing your alone time. Perhaps he is testing whether you are family oriented or maternal... even though I'd resent being 'tested', your attitude about it will say a lot about what kind of future he see's with you. Again, he may be using you for babysitting, but either way, you are being honest that you are not happy about giving up your Saturday nights when his ex has hers free. You now need to be honest with yourself. I understand you don't want to leave but you have to think hard about what you've said here and if it's true, you have to decide if this is what you want. You cannot change anyone else and things tend to get worse before they get better... especially in step situations where emotions run a bit higher.

I completely get why the picnic sandwich incident was such a big deal to you... but that is a relationship issue that goes deeper than what your SD should or shouldn't eat. You were right, he undermined you and again, showed a lack of respect. You cannot make him change that behavior. You can tell him how you feel and if he wants to change, then maybe there's hope. Unless you want to be miserable, you need to stand up for yourself with him... and then you risk losing him. But, do you really want to be with him if you are miserable? It will get worse.

He wants things his way... and he wants it both ways. It's an impossible situation for you. Take care of my daughter while I'm at work, but don't choose what to feed her. Does he fix her meals before he goes to work? Does he give you a schedule to follow or let you make the call when he's at work? I would have put the tomato in a baggie and had her put it on just before she ate it. But, then maybe she was just trying to be different. My son was that way. If everyone was doing it one way, he had to have it special. Some kids are like that, it's not because she's a step kid.

I agree with you on the car issue. I am not going to get into whether it's right or wrong to put a child in the front seat. I had too many kids to put them all in the backseat... I was raised in a time when many cars did not have seat belts. Fortunately, I survived. I get that it's safer for kids to be in the backseat belted in. But, it is not the end of the world if you don't have a back seat and you let the child ride in front. Yes, there is a risk... but there is a risk crossing the street... but you still need to get to the other side sometimes. If it was about BM looking for a reason to keep you from picking her up, I can understand that. Your BF rubs you in her face and then asks you to go get her daughter... she probably would have been more receptive to it if your BF weren't an ass, if he had been more mature and properly introduced you after preparing both of you for the introduction. But, it is what it is and you need to respect her decision about where her child sits in the car. However, my SD's mom routinely drives with SD10 in the front seat... cuz they are buddies & wanna girl talk. If I did that, she'd call CPS on me. (so I sympathize with that)

But, the biggest point I'd like to make is that you really need to think twice about having a child with this guy. If you are serious about it, take a harder look at his parenting and how he treats the other mother of his child. Does he pay support? How much? On time? Willingly or does he complain? Is his child his priority or is he doing a lot of this stuff for selfish reasons? When he took it out on his daughter because her mom is moving away with her, by saying that to her.. he is burdening her with guilt and blame over something she has absolutely no control over. She's a child! My son's father did that to him.. told him that if he didn't get what he wanted in court, he was never going to see him again... and when he lost in court, he followed through and didn't see my son for several years. What kind of parent does that to the child they claim to love? You need to think about that because someday, the child you are hoping to have with him, may become his pawn in the battle with you.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

what vivian said.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I don't know if this man is a control freak or not, but I do agree with Vivian and Sylvia about you being powerless and needing counseling.

It's very difficult being a SP and most often one has very little say in regard to the SK(s), hence the difficulty and powerlessness of being a step. I think most of us would agree that we have all been in that "powerless" position more than once. It's very frustrating when one feels that one is equal to their partner, and able to make decisions for the household or family event(s) planning (like your picnic), and then have one's say completely vetoed; and even worse in your case to be TOLD that you are not to make decisions for his DD (yea, maybe he is a control freak). It's a complete slap in the face and it is understandable why you back way, way off from putting in any effort to watching his kid.

The picnic issue - we know it's not really about the tomato, but I understand your frustration. It sounds like she just wanted tomato included on her sandwich and not a special sandwich, but if that's how they were being made for everyone, it's too bad for her and BF, as you are not a short-order cook. Should he want her to have anything she wants, then he should take care of his child right then and there (he is the parent and you have no say) and cut her some tomato. He was also negligent with his DD's breakfast that morning. He's the adult and he knew the plans for the day. He should have gotten it together earlier in the morning to ensure that she ate breakfast and not brunch on the road, when lunch was to be shortly served upon arrival to the zoo.

Knowing what I know now, if I were in your situation I WOULD run, but I also know what it's like to love somebody with kids. If you don't get couples counseling, this stuff is going to rear its ugly little head all of the time and you will be miserable. Imagine having a child with him and setting rules for your kid, but then having his DD over the house and "she gets to have what she whatever she wants". Also, there may be a day when your BF has primary custody of his daughter. Can you handle living with "no say" in your own home?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I only read the original post and did not read all the follow ups.

My 2 cents is that if you choose to be with a man with a child there is a lot that comes with it. Sacrifice is one of those things.

It is one night a month, right? Really that is not very much! My son sees his father every other weekend and one night during the week!

If you don't want to help your man by watching her a few hours one evening a month maybe this is not the relationship for you? I am not being mean, but I would not want a future with a man who would not help with my son on an occasional basis.

I think that when someone with a child is in a serious relationship with someone who has no children many issues like this arise.

As for the house hunting we brought my child and stepchildren with us looking at houses. Our final choice did not depend so much on what they thought, but we did want them to feel included! It was a lot of fun.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Lifetogether...sounds like he wants you to have all of the responsibility and none of the authority.

Lots of power struggles going on here, war of the wills. Some of this is natural in a fairly newish relationship, but when it starts to color your overall feelings you need to step back and see if you are acting or reacting.

Many times when a parent tries to control another persons natural response to their child, the child suffers. Rather than resent the parent (the source), the child receives the backlash. It looks as though you have two parents coloring your feelings about the girl. Never in the post have you said SHE did this or that...it has all stemmed from one parent or the other. See what I'm saying?

Please take to heart the advice given about having your own child with your fiance...You could be back seat parenting your own child. And every single issue you're stressing now will come to haunt you 100 fold. Do you want to be micro-managed for the rest of your life? Not only by him...his previous wife too.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"he wants you to have all of the responsibility and none of the authority."

There's *no way* you can have a healthy, normal relationship with somebody like this.

Whatever you do is wrong & he'll sabotage it, thwart it, embarass you about it, teach his child to treat you badly, & whatever you *don't do* will net you scathing criticizism, the silent treatment, more sabotage, you name it.

It's a sweet arrangement for a passive/aggressive control freak.

He's already sabotaged your efforts to establish a "motherly" relationship (or even a "nanny" relationship!) with this child, & he'll keep it up until you fall, gratefully, into an early grave.

No one can shoulder all the responsibilities & be denied the means/power to fulfill those responsibilities;
it's the same as the old making-bricks-without-straw story, with emotional abuse thrown in.

This guy is *not* partner material;
marry him, or have a child with him, & he'll make your life miserable...
& guys like this are often the ones who won't take "no" for an answer;
they think of relationships in terms of sports or war or something;
if at some future time you decide to end the relationship, he may become enraged at "losing the game", at your having the audacity to think you can decide to no longer be his property.

I wish you the best.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

To go back a few posts ago....Thermometer, do you have an adopted child & a stepchild? Well, I do & the love IS different.I was the 1st to hold my DD & have had her whole life to bond with her. My SD on the other hand, I met when she was almost 7(2yrs ago). I love them both but not in the same way. And the love for SD didn't happen right away. It was slow & gradual. Lovehadley, you hit the nail on the head & I love reading your responses.


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RE: boyfriends child

sassy, don't you imagine that part of the difference is the age of thie child when you met her?

If you'd adopted a 7-year-old, you & she would have had to get to know each other, & if you'd married a man with an infant, you'd have bonded right away?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

To be honest I am shaking and upset after reading the comments from those of you who suggest I should run for the hills. And maybe that's becuase these are the posts that ring truest to me. But the reality is I don't want to leave.

I think it is quite the contrary. I think you are here and posting your story because you are looking for a valid reason to leave. That is perfectly okay too btw.
I am reading your posts and that is all I see, is someone who doesn't like the situation she is in, and would really like to leave. So the question is...what is keeping you there? Him? Her? Both? You ?
If it is him, I will just say that from my standpoint you have not painted a very good picture of him at all. He doesn't even sound like someone anyone should stay with, let alone the little girl. I mean geez, he told her if she left to not bother coming back after all....those are not the words of a grown man who is supposed to be a father.
If it is her....well....nah....it isn't her obviously.
Both of them? hmmm....nope, don't really buy that package deal from your postings either.
You? You love him. Blah! Love fades sister. Even in the best circumstances. You are supposedly (I say that in the best way possible) a Dr. and you are acting a dang fool here. The man is way too selfish and controlling to be of any good to anyone. You can't save him or change him either....thinking that is only going to get you in deeper and hurt worse.
My only advice is to cut your losses and move on.
If you stay, this situation is unpredictable but from what you already have said, it is clear that you will not be allowed to be a "real step mom" to this girl if you are to never be in any kind of "authority" position over her? Where does that leave your relationship with her? She is to be in control?
I am saying this in reference to the idea of babysitting. In that situation is she to be in control? Because you are not supposed to tell her what to do? How do you babysit someone you have no authority over?
Yeah, I am being nit-picky. But where will it end?
Your resentment has already started, and believe me it will only grow if you continue on in this manner.
You are required to love her but never able to correct her in any way. That is not realistic.
Your bf sounds so immature too.
anyway that is my .02


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"Lifetogether...sounds like he wants you to have all of the responsibility and none of the authority."

BINGO!
You do all the work. My Way.
Sure it's only once a month. Until it isn't.

There are better guys out there. Lots of them. Lots better.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

What is this "all the responsiblity". She sees the child once a month? Give me a break. Also, btw, if you see a hungry child as a disrepectful child I wouldnt let you have any authority over my kid either.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Do I need to provide resources in reading comprehension along with my responses? Sassymom, I never said anything about mother and child and nothing about love being the same for stepmother/stepchild as it is for mother/child. I said a person could love their stepchild as their own but never once said it was the same love they have for their own child. I disputed her husband expecting it and submitted he must have meant something else. I spoke about adoption and explained my whole point was that a woman doesn't birth the child in both adoption and stepparent situations. If you disagree with that, would you please confine your responses to me to what I did say and not what I didn't say?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"I said a person could love their stepchild as their own" but as SM's we are not allowed to.... how many have been bashed for claiming to love their SC as their own.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Pseudo Mom, I don't know anything about that. Your statement may be true for all I know but doesn't have anything to do with this subject/thread or anything that I said, so I'm not going to assume you directed the statement to me specifically even though you quoted my words. If SMs have been bashed just for loving their SC, then I can understand how you feel.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I quoted you because you said it ...

personally I think OP won't be back and this debate will go on for another 40 posts...

We as SM's are not to question anything related to our husbands children we are just there as glorified babysitters, maids, transportation coordinators... but to actually care about a child who is in our care thats just absurd. We could not possibly care for children we did not birth or adopt.

So to answer OP do not do anything for anyone that you do not want to do .... don't want to babysit your bf's kid but have your n's & n's over go right ahead ....

The whole picnic thing .... if that is your biggest battle in a blended family count your blessings.

Wondering since men do not actually birth children is their love less than a mothers?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I've never been a step mother but I've had a few in my life. My own SM whom I adored.
My daughters SM, whom I adored as she tried her with all her might to be a good mother to my daughter whenever they were together. I consider her my daughters other mother.
My sons SM who succeeded in making most of the formative years miserable. (She was terribly jealous of all of us). And just in the last few years has eased up.
So, if you're getting grief from both sides now Lifetogether, ya better strap yourself to that pony like your life depends on it...you're going to need all the strength you can muster.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Thermometer,
"You would love an adopted child as your own, so why not your stepchild if she hasn't given you any trouble or reason not to love her as your own"
My point was that there is a difference between an adopted child & a stepchild & the way your post reads you're putting adopted/step together & separate from birth. And as Love pointed out...a stepchild has a mom. I'm my DD's mom. And the age doesn't matter in the fact that even if my SD was an infant when I met her,she is still not MY child. And she has made that very clear to me. MY daughter would never even think or say that I'm not her mom. And yes she's aware she's adopted.
So unless you do have an adopted child I don't think you can make that comparison. And thanks, but I don't need resources in reading comprehension.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I'm not convinced, sassymom12. Maybe you do, I don't know. You can keep making more of my statement than I meant even after I explained what I meant by it. Some of you - maybe most of you for all I know if you feel the same way - make me wonder what kind of world we live in, where people decide who to love by virtue of birth and longing. You make it sound as though someone like Deborah fabricated her life story because surely she didn't share the story to suggest her stepmom did not love her as if she were her own child (including her siblings).

Maybe I need to clarify for the third time that I'm not suggesting loving like one's own and loving one's own are the same. It means you are prepared to love them and follow through unless they or circumstances prevent you. It means you take care of them as you do your own. It means you are concerned for their well being as you are concerned for your own. It means you wouldn't deny them anything you wouldn't deny your own children. It doesn't mean your feelings are exactly the same. It means simply you do have feelings of love and you do for them as if they were yours.

I don't know what to think of someone saying they cannot possibly care for children they didn't birth or adopt and it's absurd to care about a child in their care. Extremely scary. I'm just thankful my own experience was a wonderful one, so my perspective isn't skewed and my love isn't selective. He passed away 7 years ago and was a wonderful stepfather with two beautiful daughters. They lived with their mother until the older one (15) came to stay with us. Unfortunately, she was only with me for 9-10 months before he died. Her mother took her back and then moved away.

And thank goodness for stepmothers like Deborah's because my heart knows her story was not fabricated. In two or three different posts, Deborah has told us her stepmother loved her as her own, and Deborah loved and adored her as her mother.

So I know it is not impossible. Maybe some of you are tired of feeling like glorified babysitters and transportation coordinators. So why do you?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I think seeing someone once a month is not going to build any kind of loving relationship, it is 12 days a year. com'n. it is nothing. no mattre how SM feels here, she doesn't even know the child.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

We as SM's are not to question anything related to our husbands children we are just there as glorified babysitters, maids, transportation coordinators... but to actually care about a child who is in our care thats just absurd. We could not possibly care for children we did not birth or adopt.

lol pseudomom...that is why i am being bashed to he** on my dad thread I guess lol. Heaven forbid you take a step back and not be the chauffeur, and maid. But yet, you are told to disengage, and then they do not see that you have, and get all bent because you dare to post anything about your skids because obviously when you disengage you should have no issues with your skids, and when you do, you so obviously do not like them. @@ It is beyond words.

I already gave my .02 to the OP. They still stand. Good luck OP, it would be interesting to hear whether you stay or go.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

KKNY - thanks for your reply. I think that some of you are getting the wrong end of the stick (eg KKNY) with the sandwich thing. I did not have a problem with the child - it was my BF who bought her a suasage roll and donut for breakfast 1.5 hours before my picnic (which, by the way was not just sandwhiches, but had other goddies, chips, biscuits, chocolate, drinks etc), when he knew it was a big deal to me. He basically sabotaged me in front of her, with her full knowing. She ate the donut knowing I was angry that he bought it, but I could not expect her to do anything else - who will she choose to support, me or her father - I know its her father every time and that's ok. I do not blame her. I just wished he did not put me in that situation in the first palce and I think he did it becuase I did not put tomato in with her salad/ham sandwhich.

Unfortunately because of his actions I do resent the child - but she has done nothing to me. I resent her because all his attention is on her- when its just me and him he holds my hand, when its three of us he holds her hand and not mine and they walk off on me - like I dont exsist. She is almost 11 and almost as tall as me- unfortunately I see her as compeition for my FB's attention. He works nights, I work days and I travell 4 hours a day to work adn back - i never see him and she is here EVERY weekend whenever he is free. I get a few hours twice a week on week nights with him and that's all. I would like him to make an effort, make time for him and me. But I jsut think he is a man and he doesnot thinkof these things. Most weekends I am not even told what he is doing with her and if we have an arguement it ends in him saying that he and his daughter will do their own thing on the weekend and leave me out.

He sounds horrible - but he did not used to be this way. The possibility is that he is this way now becuae I HAVE stepped back. And I truely think he wants a family and a woman in his life who truely loves his daughter like he does. But i met her at 9 so it was hard to develop a deep relationship. After reading all the posts I think I have to re-assess and actually start making the effort to be involved in his daughter again - i now think taht stepping back was the problem. I think it worked well for me but just made him unhappy and all of his unpleasantness was just a reaction to my stance.

I will give it a go and see it the troubled waters become calm. Hopefully there is not too much dmage already done.

BTW he does not pay child support (someone asked). For the past 8 years he has had an arrangement with his ex that he does not have to pay as long as he does not tell the child about how they split up. According to him she left because he wanted to her go to work and he didn't want to go (child was almost 2).


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

For the past 8 years he has had an arrangement with his ex that he does not have to pay as long as he does not tell the child about how they split up.

Seriously????? That makes ZERO sense, and sounds like an outright lie. What parent would forgo child support for such a ridiculous reason? And what parent would blackmail their ex so they don't have to SUPPORT THEIR CHILD???? He is either lying to you, or is a class A jerk. I think both.


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what a moron

"I resent her because all his attention is on her'

you are kidding, right? he sees her once a month and his attention is on her, who else do you think he needs to focus on? he is with you the rest of the month! unbelivable. you are so selfish and needy as to compete with a child who is there once a month!!!

he does not pay child support at all? he sees his child once a month and he does not pay anything? I agree with weed, he is complete jerk or lying to you. this is guy is not worth anyone's attention.

but you are not much better resenting a child who not only never sees his father but also gets no support from him whatsoever. wow. you two deserve each other.

"He sounds horrible", he does not just sound horrible, he actually is horrible.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

No cs for not telling how they split? Must have been a nasty thing on bm part to accept this blackmail situ. Probably complete loss of custody..ehmmmm...He's a jerk.
1. He puts his daughter over you in every situation. Even a sandwich...and yet he expects you to take care of her. WRONG. You are his partner. YOU are the adults. YOU both should make decisions and he has to take both his daughter and your feelings and thoughts into consideration.
2. He doesn't value your opinion and her undermized you in front of his daughter. Showing full control and power. Showing he's boss not you...no partnership whatsoever. WRONg ...that alone i would have dropped his BUTT! That is a total disrespect as an individual.
3. He expects you to love her and yet you and him only see her once a month? How the hell is he going to love her with barely that time and you as well?
4. No CS...blackmailing...WTF?
I'm sorry, you can find someone else to love and have a child. Seriously , this man is changing and showing his true colors. And it wont get easy.
Imagine you do have a child, a girl, then what? You already feel you are competing now with his daughter, how will you feel when your own daughter takes the back seat for his?
I would not marry this man, i would not have a child with this man.
Stop shaking, take serious advice from many woman on this forum here. I'm not saying stepfamilies do not work. THey do. It takes alot of work and copartnership. The key is to work together. You are not together with him. You are considered separate and expectations are way too high on this guy and when you tell him how you feel, he disregards you all together. Drop him. For your sake and the sake of your future children.
Its not the daughters fault here. THis man package deal, is sour. WHo the hell doesn't pay CS when that little girl lives with her mother and sees her dad only 1 time a month....And obviously he values the job more than spending hte time with his daughter. He is either lying or somthing is seriously wrong. Have you spoken with the ex to find out why he truly doesn't pay CS. Has he beaten her or threatened her????

Most weekends I am not even told what he is doing with her and if we have an arguement it ends in him saying that he and his daughter will do their own thing on the weekend and leave me out.

This paragraph alone is sad. I'm sorry, but stand up for yourself and drop him.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

LT, there are many red flags here. I am not going to try to guess who the lunatic(s) is here -- but I suspect you are not being told the entire truth.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

After reading your last post, I think another problem you have is lack of communication. (but, then I told you before.. he does not respect you so it doesn't surprise me that you are guessing about what he wants, and he isn't telling you, just getting upset when you get it wrong?) How can you have a relationship if you don't know what each other wants or expects?

It does not matter why they broke up, he should be supporting his child and neither parent should tell the child why they broke up at 2 years old... IF that is truly the reason he does not support his child, that has to be the worse excuse I've ever heard! That has always been a deal breaker for me... a parent needs to support their children (unless they have 50% custody... they should give the other parent something!) and in some states, if the CP decides to ask for support later, they can go back to when the child is born (or when they split up) and he could end up owing $$$,$$$.$$. If you are married to him, it will be your problem too if that happens. (and the secret that is supposedly being kept from the child... the reason for them breaking up... (at least what he told you) is not really something I'd think of using to 'blackmail')

I also think the more you tell about him.. and explain, the worse he sounds. He sounds horrible because he IS behaving horribly. He may not have always been that way... people put on their best behavior until you are hooked, then they let the guard down and go back to who they really are... and he's showing you his true colors. Pay attention because that wonderful guy you fell in love with isn't coming back... what you see now is what you get. and he seems to be getting worse by the minute!

It bothers me that you resent his child for what he's doing but I can see where it would be irritating that she plays right along... but that's what he's doing, he's pitting you against each other. He may not realize he's doing it, but he is showing her that your feelings don't count; you don't deserve to be respected; and she can get whatever she wants, even if it upsets plans. If she decides to be manipulative, it will just get worse. If she decides it's a competition with you, it will be hell for you because he is encouraging that... and you will be frustrated and angry.

I haven't heard anything about him, in your posts that suggest redeeming qualities worth fighting for.. he treats you different when she is not around but she will be around for the rest of his life. Is that acceptable to you? Here you are complaining about it and you aren't even married to him yet. It is NOT going to get better. It will get worse because you will get more and more frustrated and he will blame you for having a problem. He doesn't see anything wrong with the situation.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

KKNY - I am not a lunatic. I did not come to this site to be insulted (directly or indirectly). I recognize that although I have succeeded in other parts of my life, relationships are one area I seem to struggle with and not because I am a lunatic, but because I have had a back track record and I assume it must be me in the wrong thereby allowing others to treat me poorly- and dont get me wrong I do stand up for myself, but I am quick to make the peace so I never really achieve anything.

To clarify the visiting arrangements, for the last two years (ie since I met him) up until 12 weeks ago SD stayed over EVERY Saturday night and we had her all weekend. Now that BF has changed jobs, for the past 12 weeks SD has stayed over only 1 night a month and he sees her during the day on Saturday on the other weeks. So for 2 years every weekend was focused on her, and this is where the resentment came from. Now that I see her less and I have stepped back from her it is less of an issue. But I have to reiterate, it was not her making me feel this way but him.

I asked BF for more details on his CS payments. Apparently he paid for the first 2 years, but started complaining that he would have to sell his house in order to make the payments (i do not believe this). He was also bad mouthing the mother to the child (then 4) and telling the child that her mother was lazy and telling her why they had broken up ( his reason was she was too lazy to go to work). This obviously filtered through to the BM because the BM sent him a note saying that if he stopped bad mouthing her and her family to the child he would not have to pay CS. For some odd reason BF thought this was reasonable. Personally I do think that both parents should be financially responsible for the child, his defense was that he had the child for 2 nights a week and when he took her out on the weekend he took her to expensive outings (balloon rides, helicopter rides, snow trips staying at lodges etc). I told him that he should be supporting his child AND doing these things - but in his mind it seemed fair. I don't see it myself. The other odd thing is that they have separate sets of clothes for her a set the stays with BM and a set that stays with Dad. She has a full wardrobe of clothes here at her dads house for the one night of the week she stays over.

It must have been pretty bad for the BM to sacrifice money in order to save the child from all the bad things he was telling her. It appalls me that he would do this, but really it does not surprise me.

Anyway, another weekend and another fight. We were all happy this week untill he started talking to SD about her moving interstate. Last week he told her that if she left then she should not bother coming back to see him - this week he started again with a kinder tact (thankfully), but this time trying to manipulate her. He was saying that everyone would be happier if she just stayed here, but stupid me said that that was not true (we all know that BM wants to leave). BF accused me of interfering and said that I made the comment because I wanted her to leave. All I wanted to do was not lie to SD - she knows the truth, why lie to her - to me it only damages her opinion of her father if she realizes he is trying to manipulate her. So once again I am in the wrong and he stormed out without even talking about it. They have gone to her grandmothers (SD is having a sleepover) and I can bet that after he finishes work he will also stay there and SD and BF will spend the day together doing the things that we planned we would all do this weekend. Once again I will be left out because unintentionally I said the wrong thing. Another lesson learned- butt out.

Funny thing is that an hour prior to this incident he told me he wanted me to come to the SD exchange with him because BM was getting upset at him for talking to lawyers about the move interstate (she thinks he will try to stop her moving). He wants me to be there with him, so he obviously wants me to be a part of everything - but on the other hand I am not allowed to contribute to the conversation with SD about the exact same issue. Can you see why I am so confused? Or am I not seeing something? Did I do the wrong thing by offering my opinion? Is it all just because he is hot headed and reactionary instead of being calm and talking about it?

To be honest I am sick of every weekend being ruined by him reacting badly to a situation. Last weekend it was because he booked an appointment with a lawyer about SD moving interstate and he wanted me to come but I told him I had to work. Again he stormed out and did not talk to me for days. If he wanted me to come to the meeting he should have consulted me about when I was free, not just expect me to drop everything for him. He still holds this against me and thinks i dont support him.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Like I said before,... control, control, control. He has to be in charge of EVERY aspect of the relationship. Everything has to be to his liking or he throws a temper tantrum.

What an immature brat.

...and one who doesn't support his kid at that.

I think you deserve better.


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Definition of insanity

Lt, you say "To be honest I am sick of every weekend being ruined by him reacting badly to a situation"

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein, (attributed)


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I have said this before. There are very real, significant, and difficult disadvantages to dating and marrying someone who already has children. But there is also a very important advantage; you get to see how your partner parents. Not how they say they plan to parent, but how they actually do parent.

I asked BF for more details on his CS payments. Apparently he paid for the first 2 years, but started complaining that he would have to sell his house in order to make the payments (i do not believe this). He was also bad mouthing the mother to the child (then 4) and telling the child that her mother was lazy and telling her why they had broken up ( his reason was she was too lazy to go to work). This obviously filtered through to the BM because the BM sent him a note saying that if he stopped bad mouthing her and her family to the child he would not have to pay CS. For some odd reason BF thought this was reasonable. Personally I do think that both parents should be financially responsible for the child, his defense was that he had the child for 2 nights a week and when he took her out on the weekend he took her to expensive outings (balloon rides, helicopter rides, snow trips staying at lodges etc). I told him that he should be supporting his child AND doing these things - but in his mind it seemed fair. I don't see it myself. The other odd thing is that they have separate sets of clothes for her a set the stays with BM and a set that stays with Dad. She has a full wardrobe of clothes here at her dads house for the one night of the week she stays over.

It must have been pretty bad for the BM to sacrifice money in order to save the child from all the bad things he was telling her. It appalls me that he would do this, but really it does not surprise me.

And this is the man you are choosing to be the father of your future children? Really?


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"It appalls me that he would do this, but really it does not surprise me. "

Quoting OP

Don't waste your time ladies and gent....
She knows her BF is a deadbeat and she supports him.

Courts do not care if mom screwed everything that walked if she is the custodial parent she deserves CS. And if he would lower himself to tell his child nasty stuff about her mom ... to get out of paying support...thats just sad.

Better hope he treats you better when you split after you have a couple kids because he would never treat you like "her" and tell your children what a nasty person you are too hoping you will forego support....


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I must say I can see where you have some confusion about your role and that he puts you sometimes in awkward positions. I must say I think he is completely inappropriate to have any sort of discussion with his daughter wherein he implies in any way that she will be to blame if the move triggers a rift in their relationship, which would REALLY be due to the anger he would have at *BM* for moving his daughter away.

This touches on a point that was brought upin a totally different thread about kids' input in which house to move to... I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to know that it's nice to give a kid the respect and attention to ask their *input* but I think few people would actually agree or expect that the kid literally makes that decision. Many people would say that the reason for this pretty universal and self-evident logic is so the kid doesn't grow up thinking s/he has 'too much power'.... and sure, that's a valid reason. But I see more of a danger in putting excessive guilt and burden on a kid for a decision that in 999,999 cases out of 1,000,000 is not actually made by the kid. This kind of thing would be especially damaging if the parents otherwise are all about putting the kid in his/her place and making sure the kid never thinks s/he has power, but then want to shift the guilt and responsibility for adult decisions onto the kid to either ease their own burden or stick it to the other parent. Then what would end up happening is that the kid grows up believing that the only power they have is negative, the power to destroy, to hurt, and to be the family scapegoat, responsible for all the problems in the family.

May sound overly dramatic based on one comment but it was a comment he made about a major, major, major event/change possible within your blended family. Any discussion about it in which he implies that his daughter is responsible for the decision to move is inappropriate, but when he told her she shouldn't ever bother coming back he was outrageously hurtful and irresponsible. That is exactly the kind of one-time statement that can do lifelong damage. He should be mortified at himself for having said it.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

"when he told her she shouldn't ever bother coming back he was outrageously hurtful and irresponsible. That is exactly the kind of one-time statement that can do lifelong damage. He should be mortified at himself for having said it."

Ditto.

The more I hear about this man, the more I think you need to cut and run.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

Don't waste your time ladies and gent....
She knows her BF is a deadbeat and she supports him.

I wanted to say the same thing so badly.

Life together, Quirk stated "you get to see how your partner parents. Not how they say they plan to parent, but how they actually do parent."

Why are there not enough clues for you? It is all these types of things that happen over time you get to see and scrutinize to determine if this is the kind of person you want to plan a life with. What you are doing is deciding you want a deadbeat dad for your own child(ren); you are deciding that for your own children, you want not only a deadbeat dad but one who is emotionally abusive to them and to you; you are deciding you want a man who is so controlling you stay confused most of your life and there is no way you can possibly do anything right because he finds something wrong with everything (the subject of his daughter is only the tip of the iceberg); you are deciding you want a man who does not consider your time, your feelings, or your existence as a human being who deserves any kind of respect; you are deciding you want a man who use his passive/aggressive tactics to constantly keep you feeling guilty and make you think you are the one always in the wrong; you are deciding you want a man who will bad mouth you to your children, family, and friends. You are not special. You only fool yourself into thinking you are because you are the person with him and you just loooooove 'im. But when the two of you break up (unless you take his abuse for the rest of your life), you will see him do the exact same things he has done to his ex and his daughter.

With each of your subsequent posts, you make clearer the things you stated prior. I don't know why we have to pull your teeth because some of the initial posts have lacked information we would need to in order to satisfy what you expect from us. They also made you look like the bad guy. A little of that part I still question but really think those circumstances were created out of your desperation to finally do something that pleases him - a man who cannot be pleased. But this is getting worse by the word. Sylviatexas had him pegged from the beginning. LOL I should have known better than to second guess her.

There is nothing to figure. There is nothing to try an remedy. There is nothing to talk to him about to try to straighten out. The only thing for you to do is decide to stay (all the things you are deciding you want) or go. But that was never your question, was it? You already said you don't want to leave. Therefore, I hope you are able to eek out a happy life and smile through the misery.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

I wished you told us in the very beginning how awful he is instead of blaming yourself and talking about minor things like not wanting babysit or sandwich ordeal, what you are telling us now is so much much worse. he is not a good parent and is not a good partner. and he will never change. if that's what you want, go ahead. but I think you are smarter than that.


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RE: How much responsibility should I take for boyfriends child?

so many times we can't "see the forest for the trees"-
of course we can't, being right in the middle of the thing where all we *can* see are trees.

OP is likely to have had to go through all those steps to arrive at the "forest", the big picture.

We don't just wake up one day with a lightbulb over our heads & say "Huh! My bf/dh/so is a jerk/creep/sociopath/control freak/nutcase/whatever!"

It doesn't work that way;
we have to start with the nearest tree & work our way out until we can finally see the outline of the forest.


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